17 February 2004
This is another government term that always intrigues me. They actually categorize people as ”discouraged workers” who are not looking for work because they don’t believe any jobs are available for them. At least that’s what the government uses as an explanation.
For January, the government lists 1.7 million people as ”marginally attached” to the labor force. That includes the 432,000 ”discouraged workers” and another 1.2 million unemployed who have looked for work sometime in the last 12 months but not in the last 4 weeks.
Now what do you think those people are really doing? Are they just sitting on the sidewalk in despair? Have they really given up hope? Or could that very process be the stimulant to cause a person to see new possibilities. We’ve all heard that the ”good” is the enemy of the ”best,” meaning it’s difficult to be motivated for something better when things are working pretty well.
But it seems that out of such gloomy statistics comes a new breed of self-starter, the ”accidental entrepreneur” – someone who never imagined having their own business until there seemed to be no other option. In the past few months I have seen airline pilots, physicians, human resource directors, CEOs, pastors and attorneys who have lost their jobs. A music industry executive has lost his job 4 times in the last 3 years. What are the chances of replacing that $130,000/yr position with another similar one? It’s still possible but the odds are not great. And the odds for ”security” and ”predictability” have essentially disappeared.
Yes, out of chaos and uncertainty, creativity is frequently born. A CEO is now a web site writer, a pastor is now an artist, an attorney is developing an executive training seminar, and an airline pilot now has his own cruise agency. All describe the increased sense of control and freedom. Maybe your disaster is actually God helping you find your wings.
The new CD, Turning Passions Into Profits contains 74 minutes of stories about these and others who were ”discouraged” and now are more than ”encouraged.”
Filed under: Careers